Fried motherboard?

I'm working on a friend's computer. It was a store bought Core 2 Duo 4600 (1 500GB drive, 3GB RAM, etc.).

One day his computer stopped doing anything, it just showed a black screen. Apparently they had a power surge at one point and they think maybe his motherboard is dead. I tried a different PSU and hard drive and nothing...the monitor just flashes, showing no signal. The fans run (I don't see any LEDs on the mobo?) though. I tried his onboard video and a spare card I had lying around too, nothing. Would the fans still work if the motherboard got fried?

I slaved his one drive, backed up his files and hooked it up to mine as the OS drive (wasn't expecting it to function well considering it's different hardware) and (this is Vista BTW) wanted me to start normally or launch system repair. Starting normally does a quick BSOD and restarts and system repair seems to work for a while, eventually restarts, does the whole BIOS bit and loading screen for Vista and then it just goes to a black screen and does nothing.

I've also run his computer without any RAM or cards, I've tried tons of combinations...different RAM, different slots. Anybody have any ideas?
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More about fried motherboard
  1. Yeah, it's defiantly the motherboard. It probably got fried during the surge and the fans probably are getting direct feed through the dead motherboard. Considering the LED's don't flash or stay solid and nothing lights up on it, it's clear it won't be getting repaired either. This unlucky event is non-reverse able and is highly recommended that you buy a surge protector before purchasing a new motherboard. Hope this helps! P.S.- DO NOT throw away the motherboard just yet until other users here confirm that it is dead!!!
  2. According to him, they took it a Best Buy initially and they said "oh, your onboard video is dead, here's a new card", which worked a few days and then it died again and they then said "oh, your motherboard is dead". I can't see any LEDs anywhere on the board, I keep looking, but if it did get fried...could it have still for a bit after? It's some sort of Acer board.

    I have a spare Asrock board that is compatible with his processor, but is it worth trying to rig that up, considering the OS will be expecting his original mobo?

    I'm probably going to have a local shop check it out before I throw it out my apartment window, but I wanted to check here first. Would the surge have messed up his OS at all? The hard drive is fine, I copied all the files off it, but system repair won't work. He also bought this computer pre-built, so his install of Vista is OEM and while he has a key sticker on his case, I'm not sure how to reinstall without a disc (I didn't see a recovery partition either).

    The computer actually belongs to my buddy's dad, and he plans on having him buy an external for backup and a surge protector stat.
  3. Okay, so apparently it died a few days after the surge.
  4. Best bet is to try the other MOBO -- Did the system come with a restore disc ?? -- IF so you can use it to reinstall the OS after swapping the MOBO by using the DIsc to do a REPAIR install of the OS (depending on the OEM disk it might have the REPAIR install option of Windows in which case it will be able to keep all of the programs and settings that are currently on the HDD or it may need to be reinstalled from scratch in which case you will have to reinstall any other software as well.

    After doing either the REPAIR install (which just reexamines the system and add\deletes the proper drivers for the parts) or the reinstall (which will reset the machine to the state it was in when purchased) -- you will probably have to reauthenticate the OS by using the telephone activation (internet activation may fail but if you call and activate by phone it will work) - If for some reason it fails to authenticate call MS support and explain that you had to buy a new MOBO and they will give you a new activation code ( I've changed MOBOs several times on several systems and the phone activation has always worked !)
  5. Thanks. We're just going to take it down to get it diagnosed for confirmation and then I'm going to install anything we have to replace.

    I did try putting his CPU in my mobo yesterday but it kept switching off (maybe because I didn't bother seating the heatsink and fan properly? It was just for 2 seconds). I have doubts about my old motherboard now anyway, I think it might be messed up now, and I'd rather not tear apart my current computer, but I probably would if I had more time.

    He probably has an OEM disc somewhere (I know my wife has one for her Vista laptop), but my buddy wouldn't know where it is yet. Thanks for the help guys.
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